The Vista Awards, which celebrate healthcare project teams that show creativity, innovation, and extensive forethought in planning, were presented on March 13 at the International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction (PDC Summit). The winners are UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay in San Francisco; Memorial Hospital at Gulfport Tower in Miss.; and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y

The projects won in the categories of best new construction, renovation, and infrastructure, respectively.

The Vista Awards, presented by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association, are not design awards–they instead recognize the significance of collaboration in creating optimal healthcare environments.

The teams recognized by this award made it a priority to minimize the disruption of patients during construction, and when the construction finished, the patient experience was measurably enhanced by these projects. Each winning team exemplified teamwork in all stages of their respective health care projects, from pre-planning to the final reveal.

New Construction
UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay

San Francisco, Calif.

The team at UCSF set out to create a three-hospital project in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. The project spanned nearly nine years before it officially started serving patients in 2015. Now, the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay includes a children’s hospital, a women’s and adult specialty hospital with cancer care, an energy center, and a helipad, all while achieving a LEED Gold certification for its 4.3 acres of green space.

The team stated that the project’s success came through clear communication and collaboration. Starting in the design phase, the project had more than 250 project participant, including members of the community who contributed to decisions. For example, UCSF worked with a patient and family committee that helped determine what made an ideal hospital environment. The committee helped pick the wall colors, furniture, and amenities in the hospital’s common areas.

Memorial Hospital at Gulfport Tower

Gulfport, Miss.

Prior to renovations, patients at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport were staying in buildings nearly 50 years old with leaky exteriors. Members of the hospital and the construction team set out to create a watertight seal and upgrade patient rooms to meet the latest regulatory standards. They successfully completed the project while maintaining the hospital’s functions as an acute care facility.

To ensure patients were undisturbed by the project, members of the hospital staff, design team members, consultants, and other parties met regularly over a two-and-a-half-year period to review mock-ups of key spaces and to decide how to alleviate construction concerns.

The project created two new floors with modern patient rooms nearly double the size of the older patient rooms. A NICU project also constructed concurrently and added five modern rooms to another tower on campus. The projects were completed ahead of schedule and $2.5 million under budget.

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant

Syracuse, New York

St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center decided to install a combined heat and power (CHP) plant at its main hospital campus to service both its existing facility and an expansion project. But because the hospital is located in the busy downtown area of in Syracuse, space was limited.

The design-build team used an area between patient rooms and a loading dock to tap into the existing hospital infrastructure and minimize the CHP plant’s square footage. During construction, the design-build team was able to minimize interference with mission-critical operations.

Patient floors were just 20 feet above the plant, but the team successfully managed the project so that patients were not distributed. In the CHP’s first year of operations, it met nearly 80% of the hospital’s electricity and 95% of the hospital’s steam consumption.

For more information about the Vista Awards and the winners, click here.